Shrimp Stuffed Tamales

Shrimp Stuffed Tamales| How To make

Shrimp stuffed Tamales are a delicious Mexican dish served best as a party food. The shrimp cook as the tamales steam, so they’re tender and perfectly done.A favorite during the Cinco de Mayo celebrations!

Shrimp Stuffed Tamales
Shrimp Stuffed Tamales

What is a Tamale?

“Tamales are a part of Mexico’s collective consciousness….a celebration of its own…carried into the middle of all parties” ~ Rick Bayless in his book, Mexico, One plate at a time.

A tamale is a traditional Meso-American and South American dish, made of masa or corn dough mix, which is steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf. Tamales can be filled with meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, chilies or any preparation according to taste.

They are steamed or boiled in a corn husk. The wrapping can either be discarded prior to eating or used as a plate.

What do Tamales signify?

Tamales signify a labor of love for Mexican families and are served during festival times with friends and family. They are a hot party favorite during Mexican festivals like Cinco de Mayo.

Emergence of Mexican cuisine

Mexican cuisine with its fortitude has survived the intimate intermingling of Spanish & French colonialism. It has lasted through the traverse of Asian goods in its terrain for centuries. Mexico’s cuisine has emerged stronger, more complex and more delicious in spite of its maniacal dictators and multinational corporate invasion.

What is Cinco de Mayo?

“Cinco de Mayo” (Spanish for “fifth of May”) is a celebration held each on the 5th of May. It is celebrated in the United States and in Mexico.

This celebration of Mexican culture and heritage grew in popularity in larger communities of Mexican American population in areas like Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston initially and then spread across the whole of the United States in the later parts of the century.

As the city gets busy for the “Cinco de Mayo” celebrations, being a part of the celebrations of the latino culture & cuisine helps big time at the Fiesta !

History of how tamales came to be

Food is the most vivid expression of any culture.

Tamales are to Mexican food what BBQ is to the South.

The origin of tamales can be traced back to the conquest of Aztecs,Mayan and Incan cultures.Tamales are recorded in the pre-Colombian history, when women were taken to the battle as army cooks.

Then as the armies grew, the demands for readying the corn became overwhelming .The need for more portable sustaining food became essential, says the literature on food and thus was born the tamales .

How to make tamales from scratch?

Here is a link for the step by step tutorial on “How to Make Tamales”, if you haven’t made it before (courtesy :Gimme Some Oven)

Shrimp Stuffed Tamales Recipe

Tamales have emerged in all different variation, today I chose  to make the stuffed shrimp Tamales .

Shrimp Stuffed Tamales| How To make

Recipe by Maya Shetty
0.0 from 0 votes

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Cooking time




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  • For shrimp stuffing
  • 1 pound Shrimps/Prawns 20-25 count -peeled & deveined

  • 1 tbsp Coconut Oil

  • 1/2 tsp Cumin powder (Jeera)

  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper Powder

  • 1 tsp Red Chili powder

  • 2 -3 cloves Garlic finely minced

  • to taste Salt

  • 1 whole Lime juice of Lime

  • 1 Tomato cubed

  • 1 Onion medium size- thinly sliced

  • For the Tamales
  • 1 1/2 cup Masa harina

  • 1 1/2 tbsp Ghee

  • to taste Salt

  • 16 Tamale Husks

  • 1 1/4 cup Water


  • Steaming the tamales
  • In a large vessel heat 2-3 cups of water & place a steel colander on top, without touching the water. In this place the corn husks & let it steam for 20-30 minutes. Keep covered with lid. This helps soften the corn husk.
  • Preparing the Shrimp stuffing
  • While the tamales are being steamed, prepare the shrimp stuffing.
  • Add some coconut oil in a wok, when warm add the garlic & saute till raw smell disappears.Now add the sliced onions & saute till golden brown.
  • Next add the tomatoes & stir it gently with the onions & cook covered for a few minutes till the tomatoes become soft & mushy.
  • To the above now add the spice powders- cumin , pepper & red chili, stir them together for a few minutes.
  • Next add the cleaned shrimp ( as whole or can be cut into smaller pieces a sone desires) to the onion tomato spice mix, along with salt to tase. Stir them well so they are coated with the masala mix. Cover & cook for 10-15 minutes, till the shrimp turns soft. Do not overcook shrimps, they turn rubbery when overcooked.
  • Squeeze the lime juice & set aside.
  • Preparing the Tamales
  • Mix the masa, 1 1/4 cups water, ghee and salt into a thick paste.
  • To prepare the tamales, set a corn husk out on a flat surface .
  • Make a small ball of the masa mix and place it into the center of the corn husk.
  • Push the mixture to 1 inch from the side of the husk.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of shrimp stuffing to the center.
  • Fold one edge of the husk to the center, and then fold the other side to cover the entire tamale.
  • Fold the ends over by 2 inches and tuck under to hold in place.
  • Place the stuffed Tamales in a steamer & cook for 20 minutes.
  • Remove from steamer, unwrap the corn husk & serve the delicious shrimp stuffed tamales hot!

Nutrition Facts

  • Amount Per ServingCalories1020
  • % Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 43g 67%
    • Saturated Fat 27g 135%
  • Cholesterol 58mg 20%
  • Sodium 68mg 3%
  • Potassium 941mg 27%
  • Total Carbohydrate 149g 50%
    • Dietary Fiber 15g 60%
    • Sugars 8g
  • Protein 19g 38%

  • Vitamin A 40%
  • Vitamin C 33%
  • Calcium 28%
  • Iron 78%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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Some of my recipes published using shrimp/prawns are listed below for your interest .

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